Celebrating diversity while learning for life

North Balga‘s Devanya Strickland and Makayla  White with Scotch College’s Will Lewis and  Cooper Van  Rooyen. Photo courtesy of The Community Newspaper Group.

North Balga‘s Devanya Strickland and Makayla White with Scotch College’s Will Lewis and Cooper Van Rooyen. Photo courtesy of The Community Newspaper Group.

As neighbours from across the city, year five students from Scotch College enjoyed a day out last year celebrating  with students of North Balga Primary School (NBPS) in their Multicultural Day. North Balga Primary School is a vibrant, multicultural school, with many students speaking English as their second language, from many different cultures.

Students from the school performed a range of dances and displays to celebrate their different cultures with the students from Scotch College, a Uniting Church school in Perth’s  Western Suburbs.

Bill Cordner, director of Community and Service at Scotch College, said that the relationship with NBPS came out of their long association with Balga Senior High School, where year  ten students have been helping out some refugee students who are undertaking an intensive English language program. The year tens then started helping out with sport  activities at the primary school and now a relationship has also formed with students from Scotch’s junior school.

“It has evolved fairly organically but it’s quite exciting that North Balga have taken it up and see the potential to grow it a little more,” said Bill.

After inviting students from North Balga to see their Baccalaureate projects, the year five Scotch students were excited to participate with North Balga in their celebration.

“It’s really all about friendship and sharing and learning the stories about the other group,” Bill said. “They love it.”

Despite sometimes feeling worlds apart, Bill said the relationship was formed to help show the kids that when it comes to what’s important, they are all the same.

“We tend to set up  these barriers and they’re artificial. They’re false,” Bill said. “The aspirations are the same. What is different is the fabric of the school and the opportunity that  brings. But the differences are not that great.”

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